Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Establishing your character’s voice and carrying it through your entire manuscript can be tricky… How old is your main character? Where does he/she live? What is his/her socio-economic background? Does your character use complete sentences? What about correct grammar? Does he/she have a favorite word or phrase? Yesterday, I posted about my new favorite phrase: DON’T BE A SOUR CRACKER. Would your MC say that? I’m posting a short chapter from a beginning chapter book I’m working on…

Based on this chapter, what can you tell about David (the main character)? If you have a suggestion for a better name for my mc, I’m open to suggestions…

Chapter 3
Going in Debt

On the first day of summer vacation David asked, “Mom, can I borrow two dollars? I wanna go swimming with Tyler and I need snack money.”

“What happened to your allowance?” Mom asked.

“I took it to school yesterday. It must’ve fallen out of my pocket, cause when I got home it wasn’t there,” David said. “I promise I’ll do two dollars worth of chores when I get back from the pool.”

“Well, I guess it is the first day of summer vacation. I’ll expect you to do some chores when you get home, okay?”

“Sure, Mom, I promise I will.” David put his right hand over his heart.

David got his pool pass, a towel and two dollars and then left to meet Tyler.

The sun was bright, the sky was blue and the temperature was just perfect for swimming. David and Tyler swam and hung out at the pool all afternoon. David had a hot dog, chips and an orange soda for lunch. It was exactly two dollars. Tyler brought his lunch from home.

At 3:00 Tyler said, “I’m going to get a snack, what about you David?”

“I don’t have any money left.” David shrugged his shoulders, pulled out his empty pockets and looked at the ground.

“I’ll lend you some. I have three dollars.”

“That’s why you are my BFF. I’ll pay you back as soon as I do chores for Mom and get paid.”

Tyler got a fifty cent Kit Kat bar. David got nachos for a dollar fifty.

Tyler and David stayed at the pool until the life guards made them leave at closing time.

On the way home David said, “Let’s go swimming tomorrow, Tyler.”

“I can’t,” said Tyler. “I don’t have enough money left.”

David smiled and patted Tyler on the back., “Don’t worry, I’ll be able to pay back at least part of the money tomorrow.”

“Well, maybe I can go.”


  1. David sounds inventive. I like his name.

  2. David sounds like a little bit of a con man. I like it!

  3. Lisa & Laura--Thanks! Wow, you can see where his path is leading without needing more than one chapter.

  4. You give David an inch, he'll take a mile!

  5. David's a good solid name - I wouldn't change it.

  6. Hmm... David sounds like a suave little dude! I like Chad. Has a good ring to it... David's not bad either. Good luck :o)

  7. David sounds like he is in middle school, if I had to guess. And actually, I don't like him because he uses people. Definite con artist who is only out for himself. I feel for Tyler who was willing to help his friend. David took advantage of that friendship. Definitely not the kind of friend I would want. And I'm not sure about David. When I think of David, I think of the Bible and a great King. Maybe it's just me. Perhaps pick a different name that would not have that association. Maybe I'm just weird, I don't know. But I was thinking something like Chaz or Nick or Bryce. Not sure if this helps or not. Good luck!

  8. Kelly--You are right...but he will learn his lesson and grow as a person before the book finishes.

    Susan--Thanks. :)

    Erica--Thanks for stopping by. I like Chad...I'll have to look it up in my name book.

    Buffy--Wow, David made an impact on you! I promise he will grow as the story evolves. He definately starts out as a user of friends and family with no concept of the value of the dollar. I like Chaz and Nick...I'll have to consider them. Thanks for the great input.

    Thanks everyone...I love getting feedback. :)

  9. He sounds like a typical kid, buying on credit! The interaction is innocent enough, but it's a slippery slope to turning into a user.

    David is a name, to me, that is trustworthy. So I think he'll grow into his name!

  10. Interesting that LiLa thought he was a con-man. I initially just thought he was really thoughtless and a bit selfish. I like that he could be conniving. I guess it depends on how old he is, too. It made me grit my teeth a bit at him! :)

  11. Jill--David definately pushes his limits, but redeems himself by the end of the ms. Good point about him growing into his name. :) Thanks.

    Heidi--He's eight...he'll grow and learn...Thanks. :)